Economy & Jobs Archives

  • Financial regulation: The EU’s agenda

    Brexit 01-04-2009

    In response to the worst crisis in decades, the European Union has agreed on a series of rules and new watchdogs to regulate and supervise global financial markets. EURACTIV offers an overview of the state of play.

  • Information technology and innovation for SMEs

    Innovation & Industry 23-03-2009

    Information and communications technology (ICT) has a key role to play in driving innovation and competitiveness for small businesses and the IT sector itself. But equipping the labour force with the right skills and providing access to high-tech infrastructure are essential if the full potential of ICT is to be harnessed.

  • Copyright protection of online content

    Digital & Media 20-03-2009

    As cultural content migrates online on a massive scale, legal battles are multiplying to prevent piracy, protect copyright and make money out of this growing business.

  • European Year of Creativity and Innovation

    Special Report | Trade & Society 26-02-2009

    The European Commission has received much praise for putting innovation and creativity at the centre of attention in 2009, but it remains to be seen whether the special year can go beyond mere symbolism and deliver concrete results at a time when Europe is engulfed in a global economic recession.

  • EU industry and the ‘carbon leakage’ threat

    Trade & Society 27-01-2009

    Fears that tighter controls on CO2 emissions in Europe will drive factories to relocate abroad has led the EU to grant sweeping exemptions for industries deemed to be at risk. Aluminium, steel, iron and cement producers are likely to benefit from the preferential regime.

  • Public Procurement: Buying Green? [Archived]

    Sustainable Development 21-10-2008

    The EU is promoting the use of public procurement in its member states as a means of kick-starting the market for eco-innovative goods and services and achieving its environmental goals in a cost-efficient manner.

  • Nanotechnology

    Science & Policymaking 07-10-2008

    Nanotechnology, which concerns the study of and working with matter on an ultra-small scale, is widely perceived as one of the key technologies of the 21st century with a potential to grow into a 1 trillion euro industry within a decade. Fears are growing that the field could develop into a political battleground with fiery debates about environmental and ethical consequences and dangers - just as has happened in the field of biotechnology.

  • Radio Frequency Identification tags (RFID)

    Digital & Media 06-10-2008

    Minute tags embedded in many different physical devices link up the material world with the information super-highway. Technological obstacles, regulatory issues and privacy concerns must, however, be dealt with before the technology can be implemented to its full potential. 

  • The European Pact on Immigration and Asylum

    Social Europe & Jobs 18-09-2008

    The French EU Presidency is finalising a European immigration pact which seeks to balance calls for stricter control of migratory flows with respect for developing countries and the human rights of asylum seekers.

  • Financial education

    Euro & Finance 15-09-2008

    Schoolchildren could start receiving courses on how to use a bank account or buy and sell shares on the stock exchange as part of EU efforts to educate citizens and prevent possible future financial crises.

  • Fighting illegal immigration: The Return Directive

    Social Europe & Jobs 26-08-2008

    Faced with an ever-increasing flow of immigrants towards its borders, the EU has adopted a directive that defines procedures for the return of illegally resident third-country nationals. But the EU initiative received bad publicity in Latin America after being labelled the 'Directive of Shame'.

  • Banking services: Time for consumers to benefit?

    Brexit 25-07-2008

    Consumers take centre stage in the Commission's Green Paper on Retail Financial Services, which lays down options on how to make retail banking and insurance services better and cheaper for EU citizens. However, the Commission, Parliament and industry are at odds over how to improve consumer protection and choice in retail financial services.

  • Growth and Jobs: Relaunch of the Lisbon strategy

    Innovation & Industry 25-07-2008

    On 22-23 March 2005, the Spring Council discussed the Commission's mid-term review of the Lisbon strategy for economic, social and environmental renewal. More focus on growth and employment, simplification and national ownership via national action plans are the key elements to relaunch the Lisbon reforms agenda.

  • Knowledge and technology transfer

    Innovation & Industry 15-06-2008

    EU firms are struggling to better exploit public-funded research and transform findings into patents and innovations that generate growth. Barriers to collaboration between the public and private sectors still exist, in particular when it comes to sharing revenues and costs.

  • Nanotechnology and consumer confidence

    Innovation & Industry 10-06-2008

    Nanotechnology is considered as being the next strategic technology, but consumer confidence in the safety of nanotech products is a precondition for their future commercialisation and market uptake. 

  • Personalised healthcare

    Health 09-06-2008

    The European Commission is promoting hi-tech solutions to prevent chronic diseases and meet the health challenges of the 21st century. 

  • Urban mobility research

    Science & Policymaking 06-06-2008

    Urban-specific research on intelligent transport systems, interoperability and land use planning is being carried out to resolve the multiple problems faced by Europe's bustling cities.

  • Biofuels, Trade and Sustainability

    Trade & Society 28-04-2008

    The lack of internationally-agreed criteria for sustainable biofuels production and the muddle of different government measures aimed at sheltering domestic markets are holding back growth in the global biofuels trade and could stunt EU progress towards its goal of gradually replacing oil for transport.

  • An EU ‘Blue Card’ for high-skilled immigrants?

    Social Europe & Jobs 22-04-2008

    The EU is eager to attract high-skilled immigrants in order to fill its looming demographic crisis and related skills shortage. But experts warn that the right conditions must first be set. 

  • Language use in the EU

    Languages & Culture 07-03-2008

    Promoting a multilingual economy, giving citizens access to European Union information in their own languages and encouraging linguistic diversity through language learning: these are the principles underpinning the Commission's multilingualism policy.

  • European Institute of Innovation and Technology

    Innovation & Industry 06-03-2008

    The Commission proposes to establish a European Institute of Technology (EIT), on the model of the famous MIT based in the US, to link the three aspects of the 'knowledge triangle' - research, education and innovation. The aim is to speed up knowledge-transfer to boost innovation. But the proposal has run into criticism, forcing the Commission to water down its ambitions.

  • Flexicurity: Europe’s employment solution?


    Flexicurity, first developed as a labour market policy in the Nordic countries, has been endorsed by EU leaders and the European Commission as a way of solving the Union's employment problem. However, as a new Commission faces up to Europe's worst recession for many decades, doubts have emerged as to how committed member states are towards flexicurity and making it work across the EU.

  • Single Payments Area

    Brexit 25-01-2008

    In the European single market there are still large differences between the national payment systems. The EU seeks to remove these obstacles and reduce the costs to cross-border payments for consumers by creating a Single Euro(pean) Payments Area (SEPA). The European Payments Council (EPC) was set up to develop a common infrastructure and standards. However, there is only little progress, since banks are reluctant to apply standards and fear competition being opened up to non-banks, which makes it difficult to reach the 2010 target. Therefore, the Commission has laid out a common legal framework in its 2005 proposal.

  • Investing in research

    Innovation & Industry 17-01-2008

    In line with the goal of creating a European Research Area, the Commission and member states have agreed to increase investment in research and development activities to 3% of GDP by 2010.